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What this election is about

Published 9:31pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

By Jett and Jamie Johnson
Columnists

This presidential election cycle has become a referendum on Gov. Mitt Romney instead of President Barack Obama.

We do not aim to placate conservatives by saying that this is unfair or undeserved. Romney has yet to present himself as a potential political savior for this desperate time in our nation’s history. It seems the undecided voter has been given no option but to stick with the incumbent or not show up at the polls at all.

Yet the debates are about to begin, and I ask all voting Suffolkians to take notice. I, myself, cannot even think about moving Forward until I hear more.

I say this because President Obama has been a leader for students of this nation, right?

My brother and I are in graduate school in Washington, D.C., studying applied politics. Upon graduating we will be in an amount of debt that I simply cannot wrap my head around. My debt does not intimidate me, because I know that I will be competitive for an average-paying job post-graduation. (Unfortunately an average salary is the best one can hope for with a master’s these days.)

But, what about all of the students who jumped right into the job market with a bachelor’s degree? While the nation’s unemployment rate hangs around an abysmal 8 percent, recently graduated holders of bachelor’s degrees are looking at a staggering 50-percent unemployment or underemployment.

How could this have happened? I blame you: The typical Suffolk News Herald readers. This is the fault of Baby Boomers — we need you all to step out of the job market so we can step into it.

I imagine at this point you may be getting ready to rant about my generation’s lack of a work ethic or about how our expectations are too darn high.

But wait. Our nation is in a state of peril, because no one can retire, and this is leaving the youth behind. The Baby Boomers, the largest employed demographic in U.S. history, have nowhere to go, and therefore neither do we. We need jobs. We all do if we’re ever going to get out of this mess.

America’s greatness is its people, and we’re struggling.

This election is about jobs, and this election is about the economy, almost nothing else. So, stop focusing on your social issues (My generation will have all of that worked out on its own time anyway). Ask yourself who seems better fit to take on the challenge of revitalizing the economy.

In my opinion pumping funding into an excess of entitlements, regulating big and small business, and overspending in government have led to where we are today: stagnation.

Will Romney be able to turn us around? It was his profession after all, saving flailing businesses. And America is, without a doubt, flailing.

I still cannot comfortably claim that he is the man for the job, but I simply ask of each of you to pay attention. Pay attention to why this election has become simply a campaign to illuminate why Mitt Romney does not connect with the American people. Pay attention to why President Obama is blaming and not explaining.

We cannot begin to move Forward until we hear exactly what is going to change.

Jett and Jamie Johnson are from Suffolk. They are studying for their masters’ degrees at George Mason University. Email Jett Johnson at jettjohnson@gwmail.gwu.edu.

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